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New Extension environmental educator takes root in central Illinois

Darci Webber

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — When it comes to coexisting with nature, the solutions aren’t always straightforward. What do you do if your native plant landscaping attracts a family of groundhogs? How do you work with your neighbors to remove encroaching invasive species? Where can you go in town to find green spaces? But who you turn to for answers is clear — University of Illinois Extension.

Across the state, Extension’s network of natural resource experts connects communities with research-based resources and recommendations for engaging with the natural world and sustaining healthy environments and ecosystems. Darci Webber joined that team in March as the first natural resources, environment, and energy educator for Livingston, McLean, and Woodford counties.

“I am excited for this new role in central Illinois and the opportunities Darci will provide to our communities related to natural resources, environment, and energy,” said County Director Katie Buckley.

Webber will facilitate culturally relevant environmental education and outreach efforts as well as coordinate land stewardship efforts through the local Illinois Extension Master Naturalist program. She looks forward to researching natural resources in the region and developing tools to help local communities engage with the environment.

“I hope to inspire others to care about the earth,” Webber said. “By diving into how the world works, we can gain a rich appreciation for the natural systems around us that provide for us.”

Webber earned a Bachelor of Science in environmental biology from Greenville University and a master’s in international agriculture from Oklahoma State University. Webber has experience in data collection, integrative pest management, and farm-based education. Before joining Extension, she worked on a flower farm, at the FARM Institute, and as a sign language advocate.

More information about Illinois Extension in Livingston, McLean, and Woodford counties can be found at

About Extension

Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.